The U.S. State Department has slammed a Florida lawmaker for trying to block the Palestinian Authority from seeking recognition as a new country and membership in the United Nations in September.
U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced Tuesday she had advanced a measure to block U.S. funding to any U.N. member or group that supports an upgrade to the PA's diplomatic status next month.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the Republican Congresswoman's proposed measure would “seriously undermine our international standing and dangerously weaken the U.N. as an instrument to advance U.S. national security goals.”
The measure is actually a clause folded into a larger proposed bill that would transform the U.S. portion of United Nations funding into a voluntary contribution, one conditional upon American agreement on each funding target.
“We believe in U.N. reform,” added Nuland, “[but] we just don't think that this is the right way to go about it.” The Obama administration warned long before Ros-Lehtinen submitted her proposal that the president would oppose it, according to the Reuters news agency.
The Congresswoman said her efforts were aimed not only at preventing the PA from gaining recognition as a new country, but also at stopping the entity from achieving a second option in lieu of the first – upgrading its current status from that of a U.N. observer to a non-member state.